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Ken Bills

Record type: Motorsport Biographies

Biography: Mounts: Senior – Norton
Junior – Norton

Age 34, profession, consulting ophthalmic optician, home town, Gillingham, Kent. Served throughout the war in Fighter Command, flying Hurricanes, Spitfires, etc. and for two years was Navigation Officer (F/Lt.) preparing pilots for low-flying attacks on the Continent. Latterly a Group Investigating Officer holding Courts of Inquiry into fatal flying accidents.

Bills is the latest recruit to the professional races from M.G.P. stardom. He rode in the Manx every year from M.G.P. stardom. He rode in the Manx every year from 1934 to 1938 and moved steadily towards the front rank: in 1937 he finished second in both Senior and Junior events, and in 1938 he won them both. Last year he did the “hat trick” by winning the Junior M.G.P., and came second in the Senior.

Has several successes at Donington and is holder of two lap records at Crystal Palace track.
(TT Special, 9 June 1947, p.10.)

Mount: Junior – Velocette

Age 37; a consulting ophthalmic optician, of Gillingham, Kent, Ken Bills, as is well-known, is a star of the Manx. He first rode in the Manx Grand Prix in 1934 and in 1937 finished second in both Junior and Senior races. The next year he won both of them and put up record laps in both, these lap times standing incidentally, until last year. In 1946 he scored his Manx hattrick, by winning the Junior and two days later was also second in the Senior. All these successes were on Nortons.

In 1947, he turned “international” and became a member of the official Norton team. He won a second-class replica in the Junior and was always within the first few in the Senior until, on the last lap, he retired at Union Mills when lying less than a minute behind the ultimate winner.

In 1948 and 1949, his luck was again out. In the previous year he retired early in the Junior race, whilst in the Senior event, after running fifth on a Triumph on the third and fourth laps, he retired near the Bungalow on the fifth. Last year, he finished fourth in the 350 class of the Circuit de Floreffe, but crashed in the North-West “200” a fortnight later and broke a collar bone, which put him out of the T.T.

He is entered this year by David Whitworth.
(TT Special, 5 June 1950, p.14.)

Competed in

1950 Senior TT123:09:09.6083.79HRD
1950 Junior TT93:12:28.0082.35Velocette
1948 Senior TTRTriumph
1948 Junior TTRVelocette
1947 Senior TTRNorton
1947 Junior TT213:44:47.0070.5Norton
1946 Senior MGP22:59:16.0075.78Norton
1946 Junior MGP13:03:08.0074.19Norton
1938 Senior MGP13:22:32.0084.81Norton
1938 Junior MGP12:52:30.0078.76Norton
1937 Senior MGP22:47:31.0081.1Norton
1937 Junior MGP22:58:58.0075.91Norton
1936 Senior MGP32:53:39.0078.24Norton
1936 Junior MGPRNorton
1935 Senior MGPRVincent HRD
1935 Junior MGP93:10:03.0071.27Velocette
1934 Senior MGP73:08:53.0071.93Vincent HRD
1934 Lightweight MGP53:40:01.0061.75Rudge


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